• Reply to: Our Fourth Year   3 years 10 months ago

    Savings opportunity for OIG review: Better management of commercial mailer dropshipment appointments to avoid service delays due to over-capcity (of machine and/or staffing). FAST appointments do not control dropshipment volumes as well as intended. As they say, "load-leveling" mail dropshipment volume to avoid crushing volumes at the end of the week and before a holiday. This drives service delays and overtime costs. Incent mailers to enter mail earlier in the week. > just an idea/thought

  • Reply to: Brainstorm Ideas to Help the Postal Service   3 years 10 months ago

    I have nothing against Unions; they hold a purpose within an organization that isn’t compliant with Federal/State Labor Laws. Therefore, it is my opinion the USPS should really evaluate if petitioning congress to no longer be required to hire Union positions in regrds to postmasters and hiring direct management, as many successful/profitable law abiding corporations have, should seriously be considered.

    The USPS Mail Carriers Union has allowed the company to use what they call Transitional Employees. I would like to see the statistics of how many TE’s actually become permanent. Having a class/caste system such as this speaks negatively of your organization and I am sure you experience a corporate culture that reflects that as such. And I seriously don’t understand as to why the Union would agree to that concession. I do have my opinion.

    Secondly I find it in bad taste for Union to solicit funds (dues) from TE’s as they don’t benefit as the “regulars” do in negotiations.

    Your “Postmaster’s” from what I see have little to no training or experience in human resource management and seriously lack knowledge of internal work policies and procedures to effectively run a business or have chosen to “handle things as they see fit”. If they do, isn’t evident in your bottom line.

    Example 1: On several occasions transitional employees receive 1 route, of which takes your “regular employee” 8 hours to complete, the transitional employee completes the route in 5 hours and then is given the auxiliary route which has the potential to send the TE into overtime. When brought to the attention of the Postmaster, the direct comment was, “He’s a regular and he is guaranteed 8 hours”. If I have to explain the absurdity of a remark like this from a “manager”, then your management system is in a worse state than even I can imagine.

    Example 2: On several occasions transitional employee are sent to other locations for support. Which on the surface has value; this is how the assignment went. TE is permanent in one city, which really needs another FTE as both TE’s assigned to this location puts in 40 plus hours per week (that’s another finding as a talented manager would recognize and requisition a FTE and promote one of the TE’s that work the area). The TE is sent to help another location, although much needed in the TE’s assigned/hired area, 70 miles round trip. Of which you pay mileage. Then the postmaster calls to have 2 TE’s from another city 50 miles round trip each to help with mail delivery in their area. One TE from the other city would have had a 30 mile round trip to the first assigned TE’s location. In essence the USPS paid a total of 170 miles as opposed to 30 miles, plus wages for riding as opposed to delivering mail, plus the wage/fringe for 3 managers to make that decision. In addition, all the 3rd class mail wasn’t delivered that day in at least one of the locations and had to be delivered the next, which ended accruing overtime for some. When the Postmaster was questioned as to the logic, the answer was the “I have to make sure my employees don’t go into overtime”. Perhaps this is true, but a bad decision so “the books” look good one area isn’t helping your bottom line. Which brings me to this point, if your line management team can’t think past their respective areas, anticipate a shortfall, or utilize critical thinking skills, then don’t expect any change for your organization.

    Your line management team is your key to change, they control what we the customer see and pay for and more importantly base our decision on how we spend our hard earned dollars. And what we, the customer, see is as incompetement line management.

    Put anything in writing you like, but if they don’t have the skills to understand it and implement it, you’re wasting time.
    I believe this type of line management is more prevalent in your business than those who do possess the skills to effectively run their respective areas. Petitioning Congress to allow you to hire a management team that isn’t in a collective bargaining unit may be a way to allow your organization to grow. Then perhaps the “mail carrier union” and the “clerk union” will have skilled, trained and experienced management as oversight as opposed to what I perceive a severe conflict of “Union” interest. And perhaps your corporate culture of having a perceived class/caste system of employees will also become a thing of the past, as most unfair labor practices tend to do with time.


    All of Us

  • Reply to: Our Fourth Year   3 years 10 months ago

    With regard to topics for 2012: How about discussing the myriad tiny products and services the postal service launches with great fanfare and the products never grow but the program (and the consultants supporting it) never go away either? How about explaining why there are so many trips by senior postal managers to China?

  • Reply to: Prepaid Debit Cards Services   3 years 10 months ago

    Offering prepaid debit cards at post offices may offer some conviences for the "underbanked" as well as other consumers but it will probably not be a high volume sales item. When comparing the layout of a typical post office to a convienience store that offers pre-paid debit cards, there would be logistic issues for placement of the displays for maximum exposure.

    Consumers who don't have bank accounts or have access to credit do benefit from these prepaid cards. Having them available in a public locations would not be a bad idea for those individuals.

  • Reply to: How Can the Postal Service Reduce the Costs Associated with Postage Stamps?   3 years 10 months ago

    It seems to me it is self explanatory why we need only one kind of stamp.(Cost effective!!period) We should not have to pay to create hobby for the few. Price could go up (if necessary)each year without printing new stamps. Not everyone has or wants a computer so if the postal service was run correctly it makes sense to keep stamps.

  • Reply to: Is “Coopetition” a Good Thing for the Postal Service?   3 years 10 months ago

    I see nothing in these comments about how the cooperation between the USPS and UPS affects the consumer. I will have a package delivered today, Saturday, by the USPS that was shipped UPS. UPS doesn't deliver on Saturdays. I get my package two days sooner than if I had to wait for UPS to deliver it on Monday. I like it.

  • Reply to: Digital Currency: An Opportunity for the Postal Service?   3 years 10 months ago

    To whom it may concern we run a non-profit organization(CAPTS) that sends care pack over seas to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.We really on donations and our largest cost is the mailing.If you would issue gift card it would help take the scam factor out.People would know their intentions would be followed.It would help the groups that are out there that are doing good.It would also keep revenue in the USPS account. Thank you Mark from CAPTS

  • Reply to: Postal Service Revenue: What Should be Done?   3 years 10 months ago

    There is a way to lower operating costs, quickly and the savings pays for the upgrades. The actual backround on this was don By the Oak Ridge National Lab. It works and week call it the "Theory of Re":

    Reduce, Redeploy, Redistribute, Recycle, Re-commission, Recoup, Reprocess, Reclaim, Reuse, Recover, Regain, Reinvigorate, Refresh, Rejuvenate and SAVE the environment is our Responsibility

    95% reduction in Carbon Footprint / a Maximum of 85% in Energy Savings

    According to Oak Ridge National lab Retro Commissioning (R-Cx) a building can reduce the energy consumption by 50% or more. This is done through energy efficiency improvements in all areas of the building (the sum of all the parts). It is not about one single item but thousands of changes in the overall environment of the building space to effect a complete reduction in energy usage, carbon footprint, and cost to operate. Theory? Proven with 25 years of experience, more than any other company in the U.S..
    About RE-ECO and Retro-commissioning (RCx), or Existing Building Commissioning
    We are a company who is actively engaged in Energy efficiency and the optimization of all aspects of structures. Our firm began over 25years ago doing research and putting together Real-estate Projects that were designed to outperform traditionally built structures. RCx typically focuses on energy-using equipment such as mechanical equipment, lighting and related controls and usually optimizes existing system performance, rather than relying on major equipment replacement, typically resulting in improved indoor air quality, comfort, controls, energy and Resource efficiency.

    RCx typically includes an audit of the entire building including a study of past utility bills, interviews with facility personnel. Then diagnostic monitoring and functional tests of building systems are executed and analyzed. Building systems are retested and Remonitored to fine-tune improvements. This process helps find and repair operational problems. The identification of more complex problems is presented to the owner as well. A final report, Recommissioning plan and schedule are then given to the owner.

    Building "Performance Restructuring” (BRx)

    Reducing the energy/carbon footprint of the nation's buildings sector is essential for tackling climate change and will be an enormous challenge. Buildings account for 39% of U.S. carbon emissions and the consumption of 40% of the nation's total primary energy, 73% of electricity, and 55% of natural gas (34% of natural gas excluding gas used to generate electricity consumed in buildings).

    Optimizing a building's energy performance requires an integrated design approach to minimize the building's energy consumption while meeting all the occupants' needs. Integrated design is an important aspect of optimizing energy performance, including equipment selection, because decisions made in one area (lighting, for example) will affect others, (such as chiller sizing). The building's re-design is only first step to optimizing its energy performance. The building must also be constructed or re-constructed as designed and RE-commissioned on a regular basis. Measurement and verification of the building's actual energy performance also plays an essential role in optimizing its energy performance

    An approach for quantifying optimized energy performance is to set goals and to compare measured energy consumption to the predicted consumption had the building's energy design not been optimized. EPAct 2005 requires new buildings to use 30% less energy than a building meeting the requirements of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2004 or the IECC. Aggressive energy efficient designs and retrofits have used 70% less energy than standard buildings.

    What Can You Expect from Re:

    Minimum Savings from Deep Retrofits on overall Utility Expenses
    50% savings

    Minimum Savings from CHP (Combined Heat and Power) installation
    35% savings

    CHP is installed after Deep Retrofits Combined Savings
    Potential 85%

    Cost outlay by customer 0

    How? Let the savings pay for the Retrofits
    ***Here is How:

    **Deep Retrofit in specific energy intensive areas:

    Insulation (spray foam)
    Summer estimated Savings 70%
    Electric Conversion
    AC / DC15%
    Energy Management10%
    Window and Doors
    Low E film application 3%
    Reseal for air leakage 5%
    High Efficient Appliances15%
    Lighting Change
    LED lights 85%
    LED solar Signage 100%
    LED exterior solar lighting 100%

    Micro Combined heat and power savings 85%

    **Percentage of energy savings is based on item specific changes to the individual area. Example a New Cree LED lights (XLamp XP-G) uses 50% less energy than a CFL lamp (compact fluorescent)
    ***Tests were performed by the Oak Ridge National Lab to determine prescriptive methods for Deep Retrofits.

    Example of a School cost model:
    Utilities Costs Prior to Deep Retrofits Example$10,000 per Month

    Utilities Costs savings after Deep Retrofit 50% savings$ 5,000 per Month
    Additional Saving with Installation of CHP35% savings$ 1,750 per Month
    Total Combined Savings85%$ 6,750 per Month

    Utilities Costs after Retrofit and CHP installation$ 3,250 per Month
    (Cost Prior – Combined Saving)

    Monthly cost of Retrofit under contract*$ 4,750 per month
    Utilities Costs after Retrofit and CHP installation$ 3,250 per month
    Total Monthly cost of utilities after$ 8,000
    Initial saving to customer20%
    (costs Prior – Month Cost after) $10,000 - $8,000=$ 2000 per month

    Sale of excess Power estimated$ 1000 per month
    Sale of AEP credits$ 500 per month

    *Sale of excess Power and Credits are held by trustee to satisfy retrofit costs in addition to $4,750
    **Additional Revenue to the customer of excess power sold into the grid and Alternative Energy Credits (AEP) or Renewable Energy Credits (REC) has NOT been added to the estimation. These profit centers would increase the potential return and reduce the time of the contract.
    ***Retrofit costs are the sum of all the fees for the upgrades to the building on a long term contract. These are based on the individual requirements of each project with an average cost of $10 per square foot. These may include new insulation, energy management, HVAC upgrades and repairs, water reduction, high efficiency appliances, windows, doors, Low E film applications, lighting upgrades, and more.

  • Reply to: Protecting International Revenues Domestically   3 years 10 months ago

    Offer savings on your priority boxes and envelopes. Ship 5 get 6th one free. Make the Free one any size priority box or envelope of your customers choosing. Also reinforce to your sorters that they need to handle with care.

  • Reply to: Village Post Offices: A Step Forward or Step Back for Postal Retail Services?   3 years 10 months ago

    The Village Post Office concept will be legalized theft in the making without consideration to any USPS customers and American citizens and the USPS employees. The USPS has the right to investigate and criminally prosecute any USPS employee that steals mail, money or commits USPS fraud. However, in a Village Post Office who will retain accountability and ensure criminal behavior is prosecuted? USPS should never forget the first committment to protect customer's mail and services first. If the USPS wants to venture into Village Post Offices then do it but do not take away a career USPS employee position or USPS postal facility to make it happen. Unions are needed to protect jobs and positions. The PMG position should be the first cut of business to be disposed of. The salary, bonuses and financial gain and USPS control that the PMG has is ridiculous for any position in any company to have especially one as large and huge as his roles and responsibilities in the USPS operations. The USPS could offer other state and government services, applications and provide services beyond postal operations in a post office if their employees would be trained properly. The USPS does not teach its employees to be innovators and verbal speakers for the company to create the change USPS needs because if USPS allowed this most positions of seniority in this company would cease to exist. Carriers know their operations and routes better for savings than a supervisor can dictate to them. A postmaster of a rural community knows the needs of their economic community even more so than their Congressional representatives and Census data and USPS. If you ask me, maybe, it's our whole dang goverment that needs examination toward one another. Rural areas demand different needs versus urban areas. But the biggest fear of USPS and even our government offices is that if the American people become proactive and educate each other about the kind of authority we want to see in USPS and our government in our own communities, then how can they continue to legally rob and legally discriminate against the human race that we are in our geographically challenged locations?

  • Reply to: Brainstorm Ideas to Help the Postal Service   3 years 10 months ago

    The USPS has so many branches and limbs of business, services, and customer needs to be met that I wonder how it has functioned as many years as it has without total collapse of chaos! I believe we are almost there now. The employees are not properly trained for the retail services provided in all post offices-that's one problem! The carriers are not properly trained in USPS products and services-that's another problem! The final problem is that the USPS is so diverse in services to sell, services provided and diversity of customers that without public education of USPS services-USPS is taken for granted for the potential of growth it could have. If the USPS has owned property that it is not using, sell it! If the USPS is so broke, quit issuing employee awards, bonuses, incentives and inside USPS travel trips and ridiculous studies that are not profiting the company, only leading it to further demise. If delivery of mail operations is to ever be streamlined, stop delivering mail door to door to city customers. Unions or no unions, contracts or no contracts, all USPS customers are guaranteed mail delivery not guaranteed door to door. That's USPS delivery discrimination! Finally for retail services, face it USPS---some retail units will not profit but do provide valuable services directly to customers in helping assist their every day life. Not all American citizens can write, read, fill out a USPS money order or even read their bills and mail. These are the reasons why America still needs its USPS. I do believe that the USPS needs to let their employees who handle the mail, deliver the mail, and knows what happens to the mail and quit micro-managaging the employees. Let the employees do their jobs and managers learn what the mail is about! The USPS still has potential for growth but without seeing the good and bad of all of their operations within and quit expecting Americans to bail you out by allowing you to close facilities and do massive lay-offs; you will go down with the ship and Wal-Mart will be the new USPS of America. Think about it. How much money gets wasted on USPS OIG and PRC meetings too? If USPS goes down, then so will the OIG and PRC when your services are no longer needed by the new contract employees and contract stations of USPS! Think about it, no career USPS employees anymore then there will be no need for federal and government accountability of mail service theft anymore either!

  • Reply to: Postal Service Revenue: What Should be Done?   3 years 10 months ago

    I'm SO UNHAPPY with your idea to close small town post offices. Come on, use some common sense here. IF you close small town post offices, THEN it was cost YOU MORE for rural delivery drivers which means longer hours, pay more mileage, etc. Well DUH!! Rural folks & especially seniors, count on their local post office for many things from their mail delivery, to stamps, to that friendly face each day and the security of mail delivery. TOO MANY rural boxes have been damaged, broken into and mail stolen!! Personally I use our local PO Box for both security & our business since we are out of town alot. IF your having financial difficulty its SIMPLE, raise the mailing bulk prices because frankly I'm SICK of all the junk mail being put into the very PO Box that I pay for!! Unfair!! If they want to send out their pathetic junk mail, MAKE EM PAY DEARLY!! STOP giving breaks for bulk mail! And stop selling stamps at retail businesses so THEY get a cut. Last of all, OFFER small fee internet service/computers at post offices. Get on the internet band wagon, after all email is what hurt your profits to begin with. Thank you for listening!! And I do HOPE YOU LISTEN!!!
    Seatonville, IL postal customer

  • Reply to: Is Five-Day Delivery in the Future?   3 years 10 months ago

    All you really know is your station isn't it? 6 day delivery stopped making sence five years ago. The GPS movements in your vehicle the on board cameras on test vehicles and mail volume have proven beyond a doubt what a carriers day is like on a Saturday. Even after a holiday nationwide a supervisor is spending an average of only "1" additional hour of pay to catch up for the "8" hours of missed delivery the day before. We ate broke, don't get me wrong I am a proud NALC card carrying member, but also am realistic. Saturday mail delivery is an absolute waste of postal recourses. Polls have showed that most members of management, craft employees and most importantly postal customers stand behind removing a sixth day of delivery.

  • Reply to: Is Five-Day Delivery in the Future?   3 years 10 months ago

    Come to Chicago and check out how the majority of these have already had a crowbar put to them to get at whats inside.

  • Reply to: Will Electronic Reader Technology Affect the Postal Service?   3 years 10 months ago

    While I love my Kindle and look forward to getting the new Kindle Touch I have yet to give up reading paper copies of things.

    Some call me a dinosaur (Dr. Gary North) but I still love to get my glossy Flight Journal magazine via USPS and page through it on a Sunday afternoon, looking at pictures and reading the stories.

    Reading electronically with a nice Kindle Touch Cover is easy and comfortable, to be sure, but I even still love the smell of the magazine when I unwrap it.

    I hope the USPS can stick around and be profitable.

  • Reply to: Postal Service Revenue: What Should be Done?   3 years 10 months ago

    What would a giant American company do to increase revenue when its model is slowly decaying? It would buy out competitors, buy leading startups in related fields where the industry is heading,(Zumbox), buy up related services like pre-sorters, printers, etc so it could offer end-to-end mail services - we print, sort, transport...everything.

  • Reply to: Postal Service Revenue: What Should be Done?   3 years 10 months ago

    Get rid of the sloppy sub mail people.I live in burlington vermont everytime our regular is out we get a relly sloppy sub who does not case the mail correctly.

  • Reply to: Postal Service Revenue: What Should be Done?   3 years 10 months ago

    And a couple of other ideas I left out (that's what happens when I try to think after a LONG night DPS-ing 100K+letters, a significant portion of that time ALONE):

    • Re: #3 above — also weight STD rates according to the time of the month, giving STD mailers incentive to give us greater capacity for the predictable "first-of-the-month" FCM onslaughts.

    • Totally crack down on "machinable" mail that does not run well (or at all) and "barcoded" mail that won't read. It is costly even when not discounted (jams, damaged mail including unrelated mail that WAS machinable before getting caught in the fray, followed by manual sortation); discounting that mail in any way is an even greater revenue loss. All those flimsy "privacy notices" that fold and wad up ... the mailer whose coupon barcodes confuse our WABCR and cause a high percent of rejects ... the mailer whose envelope windows rip, cause jams, and cause nonreads (their mailing and others that the "window" pieces adhere to) ... the mail that comes in pre-bent and won't unbend ... the mail with weeny glue that unfolds during processing ... I could go on and on, but the point is that there are problem mailings EVERY night. This represents a significant revenue loss that we can ill afford, and regardless of whether the USPS is viewed primarily as a service or a business, it is both unfair and foolish to grant discounts for mail that needs additional (rather than less) processing!

  • Reply to: Postal Service Revenue: What Should be Done?   3 years 10 months ago

    I love some of the ideas from USPS employees! I would use Delivery Confirmation on letters if it were available. I wouldn't mind getting mail fewer days per week, as long as my packages weren't delayed. You are still the best shipper for small packages!

  • Reply to: Postal Service Revenue: What Should be Done?   3 years 10 months ago

    Require more houses to have a mailbox at the curb, so the carrier doesn't need to walk up to every house. This would save time and prevent a lot of dog bite injuries.

  • Reply to: Postal Service Revenue: What Should be Done?   3 years 10 months ago

    You're fundamental problem is that by pandering to direct marketers, you have created a product that nobody wants. 95% of what you deliver goes straight in the trash. Nobody is interested in paying more to have our box stuffed full of trash. Daily delivery to every house in America is also a terrifically outdated, wastefull, and environmentally destructive practice. I say: reduce residential mail delivery to once a week, give people the ability to opt out of all junk mail, and charge what you need to to be sucessfull. I'd happily pay a dollar to mail a letter if I didn't have to sort through a mound of junkmail every day.

  • Reply to: Postal Service Revenue: What Should be Done?   3 years 10 months ago

    Prepare to wind down. Snail mail is all but over. Stop trying to hang on to it and stop using junk mail to subsidize your operations. I would eliminate my mailbox if I could because all I get there is junk mail that I must PAY to recycle. Sorry, but your principal product is no longer viable, and others provide the other products just fine. Merge with UPS and use your infrastructure for package delvieries.

  • Reply to: Postal Service Revenue: What Should be Done?   3 years 10 months ago

    Stop delivering residential mail 6 days/week! It wastes about 500,000 gallons of gasoline every day! (Plus salary costs and everything else associated with delivery.) How about Monday, Wednesday, Saturday? (Don't cut Saturday, it's really the most convenient time to get the mail for a lot of people.)

  • Reply to: Postal Service Revenue: What Should be Done?   3 years 10 months ago

    (1) Stop offering presort discounts beyond 5-digit for any machinable mail destined to a ZIP that receives DPS mail. Why give mailers a break for carrier-routing or walk-sequencing that mail when we run it anyway?

    (2) Stop accepting standard "for delivery" on holidays. We won't deliver it. We shouldn't indicate that we will, nor put ourselves in the position of attempting the impossible (the accumulated FCM, the "delayed" STD, and the STD for delivery the day after the holiday).

    (3) Reduce overtime and over/understaffing problems by "leveling out" the incoming standard mail, and selectively raise rates to compensate the USPS for any overtime costs incurred. How to do that? (1) See #2 above. (2) Charge a higher rate for STD mail that is "scheduled" to be delivered on Mondays and any day following a holiday. If mailers really want that, they'll pay (and support the overtime that results). If mailers don't want that, they'll save money by mailing when we can better handle the volume. (3) Bite the bullet and spend the money for software that will show to BBM acceptance facilities a real-time nationwide STD mail acceptance volume according to destination, and then tie rates to volume such that exceeding a given volume for a particular ZIP (ie, something that mail processing will have to process!) triggers a choice for the mailer, namely paying more or postponing all or part of the mailing until the following day. (4) Exempt small-volume local mailers from the above (ie, the 250-piece newsletter mailing). Those don't impact us like the big mailers.

    (4) Avoid "solutions" that use more fossil fuels. Fuel prices are only going up, and they are potentially very volatile (look what has already happened) ... and thus will NOT be solutions, but problems in the long run (maybe not-so-long run). Alternative fuel development is probably not financially feasible right now, but the USPS does own buildings that take up a LOT of square footage and have big roofs, which can provide solar power, either to the facility or to a local utility; this would include leasing roof space for solar power generation rather than expending the capital on solar hardware.

    (5) Although it is true that much of what used to be done by mail can be (and is being) done via internet, it is also true that many rural areas don't have high-speed internet, and also that not everyone can afford internet. What about equipping selected rural post offices with internet access stations, and charging a fee for an email address (one per individual, and not available to addresses served by high-speed internet), secure on-line storage, and a basic number of minutes with an upcharge for additional minutes? This would have to be thought through carefully to protect equipment and individuals' privacy, and also to prevent abuse. But in the places where there is a need, it will keep those small rural post offices relevant and increase revenue.

    (6) Have a more accessible means to submit ideas. I found this entirely by accident. Many people who work "on the ground level" have money-saving and revenue-generating ideas, but they're lost when filtered through management, especially MANY layers of management.

  • Reply to: Postal Service Revenue: What Should be Done?   3 years 10 months ago

    I just want to see the USPS succeed. More marketing and better service might be a good start.